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Telling stories with Kingston University Chancellor Bonnie Greer as she awards prize in new short story competition

Posted Friday 19 December 2014

Telling stories with Kingston University Chancellor Bonnie Greer as she awards prize in new short story competition

Michele Henningham's short story Muddy Love won the inaugural Bonnie Greer Stories to Read Aloud competition.A teacher from south London has won Kingston University's first Bonnie Greer Stories to Read Aloud competition.

Michele Henningham from Morden was awarded the honours by the University's Chancellor - award-winning American playwright, critic and media commentator Bonnie Greer OBE. Ms Greer chose the winner of the competition after hearing three finalists test the power of their stories by reading them out loud to an assembled audience at an award ceremony held in December. Ms Henningham received a prize of £1,000 for her gripping story, Muddy Love....

Launch of business incubator at Kingston Business School hopes to encourage and support Kingston's latest group of student entrepreneurs

Posted Thursday 18 December 2014

Kingston's first student-run business incubator space, which is to be known as the Kingston Nest, has been launched at Kingston Business School.

The ‘Nest' is a place for students to hatch Kingston's next phase of businesses, offering a space on campus where students can work on their business ideas with close access to their study areas. The ‘Nest' will be able to offer students advice and help registering their businesses, and has a capacity for up to 25 students to use the space at any one time.

The Nest was declared officially open by Dennis Aguma, President of the Kingston Entrepreneurs Society, and Prof. Ronald Tuninga, Pro-Vice Chancellor Enterprise and Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law.

Students from the Kingston Entrepreneurs SocietyStudents from the Kingston Entrepreneurs Society

Mr Aguma proclaimed the opening as ‘One small step for Kingston University, and one giant leap for Kingston Entrepreneurs.' He continued, ‘now Kingston Entrepreneurs have a base from which to do what they do best: launch lots of businesses.' For the last five years in a row, Kingston University has produced more graduate start-up companies than any other UK higher education institution.

Before cutting the ribbon to officially declare the ‘Nest' open, Prof. Tuninga thanked the Kingston Entrepreneurs Society for helping so many of Kingston's students to realise their ambitions and stated that, ‘the opening of the new ‘Nest' is just the start of a bigger project, and I hope to be able to give the incubator even more space in the future.'

Professor Tuninga also announced the launch of a ‘Brick Fund' to provide students with financial support with some of their business start-up costs.

The University's head of entrepreneurship education, Dr Martha Mador, was in attendance for the opening and reiterated Kingston's commitment to equipping its graduates with the confidence to try enterprise at an early stage in their careers.
In 2012/13 Kingston University helped business-minded alumni get 270 companies off the ground, and it is hoped that the ‘Nest' will help Kingston students start many more.

• Find out more about enterprise and entrepreneurship at Kingston University.

Kingston University's Learning Resource Centres gain Customer Service Excellence accreditation

Posted Tuesday 16 December 2014

The University's Learning Resources Centres (LRCs) have received government recognition for the excellent services they provide to students.

Accreditation for Customer Service Excellence® was received from emqc Ltd on 9 December 2014; a body licenced by the Cabinet Office to assess standards of excellence in customer care.

The Customer Service Excellence® standard is awarded where there is evidence of excellent practice in prioritising customers and, in particular, where there is a focus on delivery, timeliness, information, professionalism and staff attitude. Other factors include developing customer insight, understanding the user's experience and robust measurement of service satisfaction.

Penrhyn Road LRC receptionPenrhyn Road LRC

Elizabeth Malone and Sandy Leitch, Co-Directors of Library and Learning Services, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have received independent recognition at such a high level. LRC staff work extremely hard to deliver the best service for our students and this external validation means a lot to us."

Professor Julius Weinberg, Vice-Chancellor, said: "This is a great achievement for our staff and the University as a whole. It's testimony to the hard work and dedication of LRC staff and there can be no better way of demonstrating the University's commitment to improving the student experience. It's absolutely right that students should remain our primary focus and I want to thank everyone in the LRCs for continuing to putting our students first."

More information about the Customer Service Excellence® standard can be seen on the CSE website.

The Nightingale Centre at Kingston Hill campusThe Nightingale Centre

Kingston student Festus Olusanya explains why the Annual Fund calling campaign matters to the student fundraisers

Posted Wednesday 10 December 2014

Kingston student Festus Olusanya explains why the Annual Fund calling campaign matters to the student fundraisers

Radiography student Festus Olusanya takes callsIt's no big secret among Kingston students that a place on the telephone fundraising team is well worth the effort. Not only do they take great pride in raising money for the Annual Fund's priority areas – student hardship, postgraduate scholarships, research, and now, bursaries for care leavers – but it's also a fabulous opportunity for them to connect and learn from our amazing alumni.

Third year Radiography student Festus Olusanya is a veteran of five campaigns and many of our alumni will have shared their experiences with him. Festus now leads from the front in his role as Calling Room Supervisor. He learned on his very first campaign that this was more than a part time job that helped pay the rent....

Kingston University secures Heritage Lottery Fund support for major project marking 140 years of Kingston School of Art

Posted Thursday 4 December 2014

Kingston University secures Heritage Lottery Fund support for major project marking 140 years of Kingston School of Art

The promotional poster for the 1991 undergraduate art and design degree show, which was the institution's last as a polytechnic before it became a university in 1992.London's Kingston University has received £56,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to mark another significant milestone in the history of the art school that has been at the heart of the borough's education system for well over a century. Called Histories in the Making: 140 Years of Kingston School of Art in Kingston upon Thames, the initiative will celebrate the institution's art, design and cultural heritage and bring its story to life for a new generation of local residents.

Spearheaded by academic experts from the University's Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, the project will explore the stories and personalities connected with the art school, originally founded in 1875. Five exhibitions will be staged across the borough between January and March next year, showcasing work made by the institution's artists, architects and designers. School children and family groups will also be able to soak up more information about the talent and creativity nurtured in its studios and lecture theatres over the years through a series of 20 workshops, an Art School Takeover day and specially themed storytelling, fashion, film, performance and music events. The packed programme of activity will be hosted at a number of venues including Kingston Museum, the Rose Theatre, the Stanley Picker Gallery, Dorich House Museum and the Faculty's very own Platform Gallery at Knights Park....

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, impressed by expertise in renewable energy and environmentally conscious initiatives during visit to Kingston University's Roehampton Vale campus

Posted Thursday 4 December 2014

Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and MP for Kingston and Surbiton, visited Kingston University to learn about the University's expertise in energy and climate change.

Ed Davey talks to Necip Sahinkaya, head of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, and electric bike studentsEd Davey talks to Necip Sahinkaya, head of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, and engineering students

From bikes and racing cars to fossil fuels and drop towers, there was much on display at the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing for Mr Davey to discuss and admire. He learned about the University's electric racing car which has been developed by the e-racing team and was taken on a tour of the University's electric racing bike and electric commuter motorbike by staff and students.

During his three-hour visit Mr Davey was shown further Kingston University achievements in the field of energy and climate change. There were presentations on unmanned systems and combustion research; how to reduce ice build-up and improve fuel consumption for aircraft; simulating and using solar energy; the latest thinking in marine renewable energy; the possibilities of concrete; shale gas, mineralogy and water management; and new, greener construction methods and ways to help buildings withstand earthquakes.

Ed Davey is shown Kingston University\'s Formula Student racing carEd Davey is shown the Kingston University Formula Student racing car

Andy Augousti, Director of the Doctoral School of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing explained that the University's work with the drop tower will create reproducible microgravity conditions for experiments, adding to the body of international work that will enable people to travel to Mars and beyond; and to live in space if the Earth's climate becomes uninhabitable.

Find out more about studying Sustainability & Environmental Change Masters (MSc) at Kingston University.

Find out more about Kingston University's E-Racing team and the facilities available at the faculty of Science, Engineering and computing at Roehampton Vale campus.

Ed Davey examines the solar simulation equipmentEd Davey examines the solar simulation equipment

Kingston University is ‘highly commended' in the Times Higher Education Awards 2014 for support provided to widening participation students

Posted Friday 28 November 2014

Kingston University has received the rare accolade of ‘highly commended' at this year's Times Higher Education Awards in the category of Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year.

The University has been recognised for the high level of support it provides to care leavers. In 2012-13, for example, there were 122 care leaver students at Kingston University; the highest number among the 62 universities reporting to Buttle UK, the charity for children and young people living in poverty. During that same period, 89 per cent of graduating care leavers achieved a 2:2 degree or above, compared to 90 per cent at the University overall - a significant achievement given the barriers they face.

Kingston University's support package provided by the Widening Participation team includes increased bursaries, priority for scholarships, support in applying for international study mobility funds and other enhanced support for care leavers.

kingston University student ambassadorsKingston University student ambassadors

Other universities shortlisted for the Award, won by the University of Sheffield, were the University of Edinburgh, Henley Business School at the University of Reading, Newcastle University and The Open University.

The University's Vice-Chancellor, Julius Weinberg, was at the ceremony and said: "This rare commendation means the judges really couldn't decide whether it should be us or Sheffield that should win so they ‘flipped a coin'. While I congratulate Sheffield wholeheartedly for their excellent initiatives, whichever way you look at it, we're the top university for supporting care leavers and we've been recognised for doing some cutting edge work in Widening Participation."

"The Enterprise team also did very well being shortlisted for the category of Entrepreneurial University of the Year in recognition of the high levels of extra-curricular and academic support we provide to our students in fostering enterprise. Our efforts mean, for the fifth year running, Kingston University graduates generated the most start-up companies of any UK higher education institution."

"Both teams make me extremely proud to be Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University."

Comedian, Jack Dee, was MC at the Awards ceremony held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, on Thursday 27 November.

Find out more about the work of Kingston University's Outreach and widening participation team.

The full list of Award winners can be seen on the Times Higher Education website.

BBC reality show candidate Bianca Miller extends her expertise to support Kingston University's Student Ambassador Scheme following appearance on The Apprentice

Posted Wednesday 26 November 2014

Bianca MillerBianca MillerCompetition on BBC reality show The Apprentice is heating up fast, but outside the boardroom Apprentice candidate Bianca Miller and her personal branding company, The Be Group, have been working alongside Kingston University's student ambassadors to help them gear up for the academic year.

Bianca is a big fan of the Student Ambassador Scheme and visited Kingston University keen to maintain their development as individuals by speaking about the importance of skills such as networking and brand representation.

"As a student ambassador you're going out there and representing the University to potential students and existing students. Personal branding to me is about four key elements - presentation, approach, communication and knowledge - so it is integral that ambassadors understand the brand and how to communicate that."

Bianca explained that right now is the best time for students to get experience and hone their personal development. She explained that working as a student ambassador is the perfect way to achieve those goals.

"When I started applying for universities there wasn't anyone that I could turn to, to discuss their experience, to ask questions and that's why I think the ambassador programme is so important," she said.

A self-made entrepreneur, Bianca strives to spread the work of personal branding and development to universities, colleges, secondary schools and even primary schools. Always aware of the bigger picture, she believes that good personal branding helps people to be more self confident, self aware and sure of who they are, which in turn helps them progress in their education and on into the wider world.

Student Ambassadors at an eventStudent Ambassadors at an event

When asked if being an ambassador is worthwhile, Bianca praised the scheme: "I absolutely think it's worthwhile, not only are you getting a really valid experience and interacting with people of all backgrounds, you get to understand the different layers of society and directly contribute to the University.
"I wish I'd had that when I was at university; if I'd had the opportunity to become an ambassador, to represent my uni and to get that experience I definitely would have taken that."

Find out more about the Kingston University ambassadors on the Ask Us website.